Amantle Montsho (L) of Botswana and Allyson Felix of United States
compete in the women's 400 metres final in Daegu in 2011.
Felix and Montsho top the bill in Kawasaki -
PREVIEW - IAAF World Challenge
Top entries: Seiko Golden Grand Prix - IAAF World Challenge meeting (6 May 2012)
By Ken Nakamura for the IAAF
Friday, May 04, 2012
The Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki, Japan, takes place on Sunday afternoon 6 May 20012, featuring eleven men’s events and seven women’s events. Kawasaki is situated between Tokyo and Yokohama.
The Seiko Golden Grand Prix is an IAAF World Challenge meeting.
Allyson Felix, three-time World 200m champion (2005-2009), and Amantle Montsho, 2011 World 400m champion are the headline attractions from the women’s side of the programme.
Montsho showed she was in good shape yesterday in Fukuroi (3 May), improving her personal best at 200m to 22.89 in the Shizuoka International. Montsho should dominate the 400m in Kawasaki, as her nearest opponents Joanne Cuddihy and Mary Wineberg, first and second at the one lap in the Shizuoka International, are not in Montsho’s class.
Felix will be running the 100m, rather than her specialty of 200m, and thus may have competition from Ivet Lalova, who was only eighth at 60 metres at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. Japanese fans will be looking for a national record from Chisato Fukushima. Fukushima recorded a 60m national indoor record in Istanbul, but Fukushima has yet to run a satisfactory outdoor race this year (11.34 at 100m and 23.12 at 200m).
*Melissa Breen is in the 100m.
The men’s 100m is shaping up well. Kim Collins, 2003 World Champion, and Mike Rodgers, 2010 World Indoor silver medallist are the top international names but there is significant local interest too in the guise of Ryota Yamagata. The 19-year-old improved his 100m personal best from the 10.23 recorded last year to 10.08 in the Oda Memorial in Hiroshima on 29 April. He was fourth at 100m in the 2009 World Youth Championships, and perhaps will be able to further improve his 100m personal best in Kawasaki.